My husband is one of the sweetest, kindest men I have ever known, and is also the handiest guy in town-very helpful, since Chez Gainey is a one hundred year old non-stop project. He just bought a new car yesterday, and has promised to pick me up in the new chariot at the airport when I get home from Lincoln on Monday. He’s named the uber cute Mini Cooper ‘The Blue MaGoo’, in the true Gainey tradition of naming all vehicles (my VW Bug is ‘Buggy’…okay, not too creative, I know). Our scooter is ‘Sheila 3’, in loving memory of Dan’s string of vehicles named Sheila. So, ‘The Blue MaGoo’ is an improvement on the usual roll call.
The new car is a big deal, as we have been sharing one car with two very busy schedules for quite some time. About three years ago, Dan was laid off from his job, which threw our world into a tail-spin. He made the tough decision to sell his beloved VW convertible (Sheila 2) and buy a scooter, and so we became a one and a half car family…quite a challenge when inclement weather hit (and let me tell you, that helmet prevents any chance of a good hair day). Dan handled it all with grace, and worked diligently to look for a new job. He also used the time to achieve some goals he had planned to do when he retired; he earned national certification as a yoga teacher and a massage therapist (insert deep sigh of gratitude for husband’s skills in massage therapy, from musician wife with back issues).
Dan landed a fantastic job running a brand new arts theater in town, and we got back on track. As the craziness of our work schedules ramped up, we started talking about the possibility of getting a car for Dan. This became more imperative to me after Dan had an accident on the scooter going to work, thanks to a gentleman who found it necessary to type on the computer attached to his dashboard while driving. Dan was a bit battered and bruised, but the wife unit was freaked out. Time to start the car search and sell the scooter.
As our only mode of transportation was my Bug, it was frustrating to see it start to exhibit some signs of its seven years of faithful service. The ignition became sticky and difficult, so Dan used his handy-dandy graphite to improve the issue. This worked great until one day when Dan picked me from school and sheepishly told me (top down on the Bug with the dogs in back to soften the blow) that he had done something terrible accidentally. Now, I adore the ground my husband walks on…what could be so bad? “Honey, the ignition was getting sticky again, so I decided to put some more graphite in it….only I discovered it wasn’t graphite…it was superglue.”
-Pause for this to sink in…yes, I said freaking superglue. In my ignition.-
It seems that a man who often works on projects around the house for us put a tube that looked remarkably like Dan’s tube of graphite in the same drawer where Dan kept the graphite (which is now nowhere to be found). The garage was dark, Dan reached for the familiar tube, and Bob’s your uncle- we have an ignition full of fast-drying superglue. Dan immediately realized there was a problem and tried to extract the heinous goo, but it was too late. Buggy had been vandalized by my own well-meaning husband.
We soon found that only Dan’s key would work ( after super-human effort just to insert the key) and that we could not lock the car (don’t even get me started in how I discovered this…okay, I’ll tell you- I came out of the grocery store with a full cart of groceries on my lunch break to find myself locked out of my car and had to take a cab home and then walk back to school to teach. Not a shining moment in my car-ownership history. Not being able to lock a car in the city of Birmingham is also not so good. My sweet husband did the right thing- he called VW, admitted to the superglue debacle, and a new ignition is on the way from Germany. Good man.
Now, fast forward to The Blue MaGoo. My husband is as excited as a kid at Christmas, telling me how much I’m going to love the new car, how many bells and whistles it has, how fun it is to drive. I am happy for him and for us. He waited a long time for this, and both of our lives will be easier with the freedom of having two cars…when my ignition is repaired. I’m not upset (but it does give me some good teasing rights). After all, the key to a successful marriage is a sense of humor. And all I can think of is that I can’t wait to get home to take a picture of my dog Cooper in the Mini Cooper. Life is good.